Every Friday (from now on) Audiophix writers roundup to share our favorite audio-based entertainment from the week that was. Today we highlight post-rock winners, the spoken insights of the Dude, and #1 swag bangers.
This Will Destroy You | “New Topia” – Another Language
Austin, TX ambient post-rockers, This Will Destroy You, known for their euphoric walls of sound, released a video for their song “New Topia” this week.
The song’s dreamy opening ambles on into a wispy rhythm, just before launching full speed into an upbeat crescendo of snare rolls, a droning bass line – thick as molasses – and a choir of strings. While not necessarily a departure from TWDY’s previous releases, “New Topia” shows marked growth, and encompasses everything fans already love about them.
For fans of: Explosions in the Sky, Cloudkicker, driving with the windows down on a beautiful day.
– Collin Crea
Exhumed | “Open the Abscess” – Gore Metal: A Necrospective (1998-2015)
Exhumed‘s debut opus, Gore metal, was among the first ten or so death metal purchases I made back in high school. The record’s raw stylings are part of its charm, and in a genre where the lowest-fi often nets the highest praise, re-recordings aren’t typical met with open arms.
When Exhumed was… exhumed.. by longtime main man Matt Harvey for 2011’s All Guts, No Glory, the band retained its penchant for offal and ochre while consciously offering a more mature approach to both songwriting and presentation (recent releases even include lengthy liner note exposition from Harvey).
It’s in this spirit the band’s current incarnation re-introduces Gore Metal to a genre that seems to have forgotten that sometimes less is more. These updated classics aren’t without a coating of slime and grime, but a made-over audio sheen lets us hear so much of the nuance and minutiae that were sacrificed at the altar of sonic limitations the first time around.
There are, like, riffs, here bros. And they’re like… really good. It’s rare to be able to genuinely bless something familiar with the appraisal of “hearing it again for the first time,” but that’s what Gore Metal: A Necrospective is all about. We can safely say Exhumed haven’t profaned any of their sacred history, if such a thing’s even possible in regard to songs about guts. So, any time they’re ready to pop out the follow-up to 2013’s masterful Necrocracy, we’re waiting…
For fans of: Carcass, Repulsion, Autopsy, Jungle Rot, Disgorge.
– Schuler Benson
Leon Bridges | “Coming Home”
Leon Bridges hails from the Lone Star State, but listening blindly, anyone would assume he was one of the greats born inside Stax Records. Leon’s single, “Coming Home,” showcases his velvet voice, spot-on tone, and effortless delivery that takes you into the deep roots of soul; back to when music was all about the music, and not about dollars in the bank.
Enough with the Sam Smith comparisons already; Leon Bridges deserves more than a general likeness to any mainstream crooner. Bridges keeps the soul genre grounded, and is definitely someone to keep your eyes (and ears) on in 2015.
For fans of: Otis Redding, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Shovels & Rope.
– Lauren Sands
Pope | “Let Down” – Fiction (3/10)
“In a way you feel let down” could be misconstrued as Pope’s mission statement. On upcoming record Fiction (out 3/10 on Community Records) these bummed-out stoners are disappointed by parties, lovers, bodies, and friends – not that they mind too much. The laid-back fuzz is misleading – these dudes are persistent: try, fail, keep trying.
All-purpose member Alex Skalany (Guitar/Bass/Vocals) alludes to such when speaking with Stereogum, explaining “Let Down” is about “perpetual self-deprecation/building yourself up for the fun of breaking yourself down.”
Skalany’s introspective baritone voice cooly booms, the same way Calvin Johnson coos for an Indian Summer. This is perfectly paired with Matthew Sefarian’s melodic bass lines, and Atticus Lopez’s washed-out rhythm. Fiction promises the perfect soundtrack during the dog days of June.
For fans of: Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, Beat Happening.
– Spencer Darr
Jeff Bridges | “Temescal Canyon” – Sleep Tapes
The Dude has done many a strange thing in his day, but trying to help others across the world get some decent sleep is probably at the top of the list.
Most people would probably feel a bit odd trying to get some zzz’s while listening to Jeff walk you through a forest and into oblivion, but I’m oddly alright with it. It’s nice to see someone own their burnout status like a champion.
I’m currently sitting in an office chair with Jeff next to a babbling brook, listening to him babbling about the possibility of us having feathers or being shrubs. Just hangin’.
He’s tossing rocks now… lovely rocks… good for skipping. Wait, they’re not rocks.
They’re Spanish doubloons, from the conquistadors. WE’RE RICH!!!
For fans of: Sleeping, Napping, Daydreaming, Regular Dreaming, Subtle Oddities of Jeff Bridges.
– Ryan Simmons